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May 14, 1998


Kudos to Pitt's marathon finish line volunteers!

To the editor:

I want to personally thank all members of the Pitt Volunteer Pool who participated in the Pittsburgh Marathon Finish Line Event on May 3, 1998. I was really impressed with the cooperation and determination they exhibited during the event. These dedicated volunteers spent 6+ hours enduring some of the worst weather conditions in shoe-deep mud to make this event a success. The University should be proud to be represented by volunteers of this caliber. It was definitely a pleasure working with all of you, and I hope to see you all again next year.

Bev Weaver

Marathon Event Coordinator

Pitt Volunteer Pool and

Systems Operator Computing and Information Services


Shared governance: Responsibility on both sides

To the editor:

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is one of the nation's outstanding medical schools. Recently, differences of opinion regarding how we can continue to maintain our high level of accomplishments have emerged. The focus of the discussion has been, and continues to be, on shared governance and involvement of the faculty in decisions that may affect our educational and research programs. I use the term 'may,' because the faculty doesn't know what decisions are being made.

Faculty have been unsuccessful in their efforts to learn what decisions are being made about the fundamental academic and financial structure of the school. Yet faculty participation in the process is essential to ensure not only the morale and commitment of the faculty, but also the wisdom of the outcome. If the administration believes there are legitimate limitations on information and decisions in which faculty may share, we ask the administration to articulate those limitations. Then faculty can proceed on a straightforward basis either to accept the limitations or to seek to change them.

Many of the faculty may not hold themselves accountable to the medical school but rather view themselves as independent professionals. It is essential that the medical school administration establish an environment of collaboration and shared responsibilities that will direct the activities of faculty, both tenured and non-tenured, to the goals of the school. Although tenured faculty may find this to be unacceptable, open communication and the shared development of objectives will convince most faculty of the need to work together. However, this will not occur unless the faculty feel that they are part of the process of change.

Responsibility for the failure of effective shared governance does not belong exclusively with the administration. Many faculty members have not attended faculty meetings where their input was sought. The current interim dean, Dr. Michalo-poulos, has asked for faculty participation at faculty meetings. I encourage the faculty to take him up on his request. By the same token, I encourage the medical school and University administration to consult in advance with faculty on issues fundamental to the future of the school.

Bruce S. Rabin

Professor of Pathology

School of Medicine

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